811 is a number available in every state, which can be dialed for free. It is known as “Call-before-you-dig” service and anyone can use it to mark underground utilities and ensure that nothing will be destroyed by their digging projects. Residential owners, farmers and ranchers, school communities and contractors will stay safe and prevent accidents that may happen during excavation.
Digging into an underground utility with a bulldozer can create problems to an entire neighborhood and you would be held liable for the damage and loss you caused, if you do not call 811. Some underground lines are buried quite close to the surface, so it is not safe to dig not even for installing a fence or planting a tree, if the area has not been marked.
When you call 811, you will talk to an underground cable locator representative and provide information about your digging project. The appropriate utility companies will be notified, and they will send specialists to locate the lines and give you the green light for digging safely around them. The process may take a couple of days.
In some states, homeowners and contractors also have the option to send online requests. Just search for 811 Web Ticket Entry.